Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Random SD

Made it back this year, minor obstacles notwithstanding.  Some bits and pieces:

Minerva's in Watertown
Hot spot in Watertown
Nice to know someone else is excited about this bird hunting thing, even if for purely capitalist reasons.

The weather wasn't exactly divine.  The fog never lifted on Saturday, which I didn't figure would be a big deal until I got drawn to walk through chest-high switchgrass.  Cordura-faced denim brush pants aren't so waterproof after about a half-mile.  Always be mindful, however, of how good your situation is...

South Dakota forecast

Might not seem like much to you northerners but us crackers aren't used to this.  Dress properly and keep moving and it's manageable.  Multiple gear reviews to follow.

Reports had the bird population up 18% over last year.  I don't know how a hunter would notice an 18% difference, but somebody's tax dollar paid for the statistic so it must be right, or at least notable.  To someone.  What we found was inconsistency.  Two days we hunted from 10am til almost sunset and failed to get a limit.  The foggy day we were done by 2pm. Some spots were good for exactly zero birds.  Others looked like the boom years.

Sioux Falls airport in the snow

On the way home TSA found the pocketknife that I couldn't find before I left.  It's comforting knowing it made it all the way to Sioux Falls without them finding it.  The plane with the pickups parked next to it is the one that was supposed to get me from Minneapolis to Charlotte.  After 45 mins of delay for "a minor maintenance issue" we got off the ground. Fifteen minutes later we were turning around and headed back to Minneapolis for "an indicator saying there may be something wrong with the landing system".  The pilot was quick to note that the landing gear was fine, just a possibility that a spoiler or thrust reverser or something else used to keep the plane from shooting off the end of the runway might not be working correctly.  He also told us not to be alarmed by the fire trucks, "All part of the safety protocol."  An hour later we were back on another horse that eventually got us home.  When life gives you lemons you at least have time to finish a pretty good book (review coming on 11/19).

All in all it was a fine trip.  Something about big open spaces and beautiful birds pulls me in and paints me with a smile.  There is at least one party, though, who wouldn't be disappointed to see me stay home next time...


  1. Looks like a good trip! Cold, though... I usually go north in October - not so cold. ;-)

    1. The day we flew in it was almost 60. Gives new meaning to "you shoulda been here yesterday".

  2. You sure the first photo wasn't a Clemson fan?

    1. If you say Clemson in SD the standard response is "Who's he?"